tv The Last Word MSNBC January 10, 2013 1:00am-2:00am EST
heard back b will keep you posted. and we'll keep bugging them. now it is time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. have a good evening. oh, boy, pressure is on. i promised you last night i would announce tonight whether i would pursue the massachusetts senate seat that will be vacated by john kerry when he becomes secretary of state. and because i do everything at the last minute, i still have not made up my mind. and i now have about 59 minutes left to think about it. meanwhile, the biggest republican in the country, and i mean the very, very biggest is still saying bad things about republicans. >> chris christie charges into battle. >> even though i think i'm right i'm not going to get everything i want. >> under the banner of bipartisanship.
>> we're compromising to try to bring compromise and consensus. >> and he is now a cover boy. his take on his party's identity problem. >> the republicans lost at every level. >> they can't figure out who they are. >> we're finding areas of compromise, you have to compromise to get things done, compromise and work together. >> there is a new poll putting chris christie's approval at 73%. >> including 62% of democrats. >> chris christie is everywhere. >> chris christie. >> i'm here now with governor chris christie. >> chris christie is a headline waiting to happen. >> that means he has crossover appeal. >> would you support a federal ban? >> these are complicated issues. >> and the push to do something about guns appears to be picking up steam. >> vice president joe biden's declaration. >> the president is going to act. >> that the white house can take executive action. >> executive action that can be taken. >> to address gun violence. >> out of the way, obama is coming. >> is there room for common ground.
>> the vice president's plan is designed to be big. comprehensive. >> too comprehensive for passage. >> that could disappoint a lot of folks. >> well you know what they say, if at first you don't succeed. >> today, republican governor chris christie told matt that the republican party is in trouble. >> but are you happy with the course of the republican party right now? do you think it is head understand the right direction? >> we have lost two national elections, i would say no. we're in politics to win, we need to think about doing something different. >> today, governor chris christie appeared on five morning shows and is also on the cover of this week's issue "time magazine." today, the governor gave the republicans this advice. >> what are you getting right
that republicans in washington, d.c. are getting so wrong? what don't they get? >> we're compromising when we need to. i'm in divided government. i have a democratic senate and democratic assembly. so what that means is, i'm not going to get everything i want. >> here is what chris christie thinks of the tea party. >> i don't think they have had too much influence, and i think there is a lot of things -- >> you don't think that is why the house republicans have not been able to get to a fiscal cliff deal? >> you know i think there are a lot of reasons, some of them personal, they get into these kind of toxic competitions with each other, and these internal palace intrigue things, don't look at me puzzled. >> you mean john boehner -- >> there is competition among all of these folks in that room. >> governor chris christie supported an assault weapons ban in his state. here is what he said about a federal assault weapon's ban. >> would you support a federal
ban on assault weapons? >> depends on what they do, matt. >> why not say yes or no. >> because it is not that easy, i know in a short interview, you would like me to give you pithy answers, but the fact is these are complicated issues. and i'm willing to have that conversation, that is a lot more than a lot of other people are willing to say. >> and he continued to increase to push for relief on hurricane sandy. >> what specifically do you want your party in washington to learn? >> well, i mean first off, that something like sandy is and was above politics. >> according to a new national ppp poll, 51% of registered voters view governor chris christie favorably, 23% of them view him unfavorably. chris christie is actually more popular among democrats than republicans. 52% of democrats view him favorably, 23% unfavorably, just 48% of republicans view him
favorably, 27% unfavorably. the governor is popular among independents. 18% unfavorably. today, the governor did not rule out a run for president. >> what are the prospects of that run? >> the call comes in 2016 you will be ready? >> listen, i will be more ready than i was in 2012. >> krystal ball, that is as much of an i'm running statement that you could make this far ahead of 2016? >> yes, i think that is right. obviously, about all the press he is embracing and being on the cover of "time," et cetera, that is not specific for him to win re-election in new jersey. you do notice after coming out so strongly against his own party, against john boehner and the congressional republicans he definitely dialled it back a bit today. there was a lot more hedging, and well, we'll have to see. i'm willing to have the
conversation about the assault weapons ban. but you do notice that for the national audience he is trying to be more centrist for the republicans who would have to get him through a primary. >> and the federal national assault weapons ban is when he got very presidential. republican presidential in his dealing with that question. he just wanted to get away from that and not leave any record there. >> yeah, he was a federal prosecutor and has a mastery of these issues. he actually understands what it means to use the state or federal laws that are available to try to prosecute and deal with these matters. he knows how much prosecutors' hands have been tied, and with the expiration of the federal ban. so i don't think that his vagueness about saying it is uncertain rings totally true. but i disagree a little with krystal -- >> what? i beg your pardon. >> yeah. >> i think the standard playbook when you run really in both
parties is to hang back, really be super cautious about everything, and try to create an aura of people around you, creating a win. this is a little different, i think what he actually wants to do is position himself as the leader of the republican party right now. that is probably politically more dangerous than hanging back, but i think he enjoys it. i think he thinks he will also ride that into becoming the nominee. but first and foremost, he doesn't like these guys that are talking and thinks that he is as good as anybody else in his career. >> here is what i think he is doing effectively for the democrats. i think he, krystal is helping make washington republicans look ridiculous. because here is a tough talking, tough-sounding republican who is saying they are ridiculous. >> right. well, and a tough sounding tough talking republican that republicans used to, at least love. i mean they adored this guy. the tea party loved this guy and swooned for him. so yes, democrats are delighting in how direct he has been in criticizing congressional republicans.
and going back to your point, ari, i think chris christie is a very talented politician. i think he is far more talented than anyone the republicans had to offer this year. and i don't think that he is stupid, either. i think he realizes that not only would he have to get through a primary but he would have to have a shot at winning a general election. and that is not going to happen. with the republican party looking like it is right now. >> all right, let's listen to two new york republicans tonight on fox news talking about the republican party, and what they need to do. rudy giuliani and that other republican, shawn hannity. >> let's present a realistic picture of how you can reduce this deficit, and then dare the senate to vote against it and dare the president to veto it if they should. >> and if they have to, only certain areas of government get funded. they have to be willing to shut it down --
>> where has rudy giuliani been napping? this of course is what the clowns and the house of representatives have been doing, they have been passing these ridiculous bills. and as rudy giuliani puts it, dare the senate not to pass it. the senate doesn't even look at them, rudy, they have been doing this for a while. >> i always enjoy rudy giuliani and shawn playing truth or dare, but they look a little out of touch. maybe that is because shawn has not been following it closely. they do have a bunch of misleading proposals and pass them, versions of them and push the ryan plan. we know what it looks like. it involves the complete disassembling of the plans. >> and by the way, that strategy has been a disaster, because democrats don't -- they don't feel dared to pass the bills. and it allows them to say this is exactly what the republicans
want to cut and what they stand for, and the american people don't like it. >> and whenever we have a divided congress, one being republican, the other democrat. neither cares what the other body does. they just never care. when the republicans controlled the senate and tip o'neill was the speaker of the house, he didn't care what they passed in the senate. there is nothing new in that. >> yeah, what are you going to do? go to a conference meeting over a tea party bill, but rudy giuliani never worked in congress. >> all right, we have to wrap it up here. because i have to use every minute i have to figure out whether i really want to go after that massachusetts senate seat. >> i think you should go for it. >> you think i should go for it. >> have you conferred with barney? >> max, we're going to have barney on the show later. because after i floated my name last night, he had something to say. so he will be here. i have krystal's support -- >> people are looking to you
okay, pressure is on. got to make my big decision tonight about whether to pursue the massachusetts senate seat. i promised i would announce it here on the show tonight. i said last night that i would do that, and i will announce it as soon as i decide it. as soon as i actually make up my mind, which i have not yet done. i wish i could be as decisive about this as barney frank. he decided he wanted it. he called the governor, he asked him to appoint him. and mr. barney frank will join me later in the show.
so i think i will have to decide before he comes on, so he will just try to talk me out of it because he wants it. all right, give me a minute to think about this. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] today, jason is here to volunteer to help those in need. when a twinge of back pain surprises him. morning starts in high spirits, but there's a growing pain in his lower back. as lines grow longer, his pain continues to linger. but after a long day of helping others, he gets some helpful advice. just two aleve have the strength to keep back pain away all day. today, jason chose aleve. just two pills for all day pain relief. try aleve d for strong, all day long
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>> we're here today to deal with what requires immediate action, and the president and i are determined to take action. i want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion, unless we can do everything we're going to do nothing. it is critically important we act. the president is going to act, there are executive orders, executive action that can be taken. we have not decided what that is yet. >> immediately following that statement, the leading right-wing website sported a headline that read "white house threatens executive orders on guns." we're out -- we've lost our spot here. oh, yeah, rush limbaugh, i knew we had something else. rush limbaugh scared his listeners this way. >> so when joe biden, himself a liberal democrat says that himself and the president cabinet, attorney general, all a
bunch of leftist democrats are talking about using executive orders, when you say for what? it can only be to take guns. away from people -- and who knew that an executive order could trump a constitutional amendment? you know, after they finish that, why don't they just issue an executive order outlawing abortion if they really want to save lives? >> this all sets up what could be a very difficult meeting tomorrow at the white house. the nra association ceo wayne lapierre, is sending the director, the lobbyist for nra's wing to represent the lobbying group in a meeting with the vice president. the president also in attendance, and there will be representatives from walmart, which first declined to attend the meeting due to what they absurdly called a "scheduling conflict."
they released a letter, saying knowing our leaders couldn't be there, we shared our perspective. we under estimated the expectation to attend the meeting on thursday in person, so we are sending an appropriate representative to participate. we take this issue very seriously and are committed to staying engaged in this discussion, as the administration and congress work toward a consensus on the right path forward. joining me now is the democratic senator from connecticut, richard blumenthal, who will soon take action on a bill. tell us first of all about the bill you intend to introduce. >> the bill i intend to introduce really has to be seen as part of a comprehensive set of measures that i'm going to be supporting and introducing over the next weeks and months, including a ban on assault
weapons, and high capacity magazines. extended background checks, so that we cover the 40% of sales that are now without any background checks. mental health initiatives, and also i want to emphasize, i will support stronger executive action for enforcement. which the nra has long said ought to be done. they have said there is no need for more laws, what we need is better enforcement of existing laws. so i would think that they would welcome the vice president remarks, that executive action, aggressive pro-active enforcement of those laws will be forthcoming, and it is needed for the atf, and for the federal enforcers. but also at the state level there needs to be reinforcements. and maybe there will be common ground, when the vice president commendably, and i really do commend him for reaching out to
the industry. to the retailers like walmart as well as to the nra. >> so senator, what you are hearing and what the vice president said you actually heard an echo of what the nra has been saying for years, which is we don't enforce the laws we have. >> and that is part of the problem, and one reason why i have offered the legislation that i am going to introduce is, we have a law already on the books that says anybody buying firearms or ammunition cannot do so is barred if they are a fugitive, a felon, somebody seriously mentally ill. somebody under court order for domestic abuse. and yet, while there are background checks for a lot of the firearms purchasers there are none whatsoever for ammunition purchasers. you can walk into walmart and buy a shopping cart full of
ammunition, pay for it, walk out, no questions asked. and so what i propose is background checks for people who don't have pistol permits or hunting licenses, when people buy ammunition. plus, when they buy more than a thousand rounds there ought to be a report of it to state and local law authorities. because that is a lot of ammunition. that is a lot of bullets like the ones that were used in newtown, and obviously underlying a lot of what is being done on this issue is the seismic shift. really, the very important change that is taking place in public opinion and in the political landscape. and i hope we can sustain this momentum. >> senator, i'm so glad to hear you talking about ammunition. when i was working in the senate, for senator moynahan, who you knew well, he got cop killer bullets, the bullets that pierced the vests that the officers were wearing -- we also
tried to put very, very high taxation on certain types of lethal ammunition. and the senator used to do a play on the guns don't kill people thing, he would say guns don't kill people, ammunition does. if we can get serious control and moderation of the flow of ammunition, that would go a long way from where we are now and from what allowed the tragedy to happen in your state in newtown. >> absolutely right. you know, ammunition used to incur reporting and registration requirements between 1968 and 1986. it was struck down in 1986, largely because of the gun lobby, but the senator pioneered this law and championed it. and my bill actually would bar
teflon-coated bullets, which are like the armor-piercing bullets that were covered by the crime bill. and so it would extend that same type of protection for our law enforcement whose armor can be pierced by those kind of bullets and incendiary bullets, as well. >> senator, thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you. coming up, my big decision on whether i will ask governor duval patrick of massachusetts to send me to the senate to replace john kerry and work with senator blumenthal on that bill and the ammunition and other aspects of that bill. i would really like doing that. but then it is really hard work compared to this anyway. all right, we are minutes away. we are minutes away from my decision and my announcement of my decision, coming up in the rewrite. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina, change engineering in dubai,
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in our overnight polling i now have a huge lead -- well, a lead over barney frank on who governor duval patrick should appoint to john kerry's senate seat when senator kerry moves on to the state department. and barney frank will join me later in what could be the first debate of the campaign to be appointed to senator kerry's seat. that is coming up. with the spark cash card from capital one, sven gets great rewards for his small business! how does this thing work?
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i got to say, when i ask for your help, you really come through. i'm going to need your help with this decision, let me know on twitter or facebook whether i should be appointed senator. whether i should ask the governor to appoint me senator. or, if say barney frank should be the appointed senator or somebody else should be the appointed senator. here are some of your reactions about whether the honorable duval patrick, the governor of massachusetts, who as i said last night is by far the greatest governor of all time.
whether the governor of massachusetts should appoint me to take john kerry's place in the senate when john kerry becomes secretary of state. ron rosenberry chase says i think you would be great at this. and with your experience you could hit the ground running. my point exactly. experience is everything in a situation like this. mary ann hood says you would be awesome, i do question where you would benefit us the most, though. in the senate, or on tv. either way you will always have our support, though, let's get this straight. anybody who think that is a man in makeup on a television desk is more important than the united states senate, doesn't understand the senate. the most junior, powerless senator is more powerful than anybody at anchor desk, more than any other kind of way in being important.
the tweet to patrick, please consider lawrence o'donnell to fill kerry's massachusetts seat. ideal choice. then, weldon wendell commented, we don't need another one who is smug, self-centered, and thinks he is god to the people. stay on tv, at least there when your smugness becomes overwhelming you can turn me off. wendell, you can turn off c-span, too, don't worry, the appointment would last five months, whereupon, after the special election congressman ed markey will be sworn in as the next elected senator. how do we know he is going to win? because i said so. and by the way, the day after i said so on this program that very next day john kerry
endorsed ed markey, okay? the crazy massachusetts law on replacing senators was written by politically corrupt and legally corrupt members of the legislature. and so it has led to some crazy possibilities. >> i'm not going to get into speculation about my political future. >> that was all before ben affleck declared he wouldn't run for the john kerry seat and didn't want to be appointed as the senator from massachusetts. i, then, patiently waited for media speculation to turn to another son of massachusetts who had settled in los angeles and achieved well, a little less success in show business than ben affleck, you know, like maybe one emmy to his one oscar. i waited and waited and waited. and then last night i actually had to float my own name. i had to float it myself.
right here on this program. and then i asked you for your advice on whether i should call up the governor, call up duval patrick today and remind him of my service in the senate, including chief of staff of two committees, first the committee on the environment and pickup works. and then, more importantly the committee on finance. you know, i could maybe tell the governor some more stories about how i pushed through the biggest tax increase in history 20 years ago, maybe entertain him with some of the funny stuff that happened on the senate floor when the republicans were not half as crazy as they are now. and then beg the governor to appoint me as john kerry's successor in the senate. my point, basically, experience matters. and in the overnight polling, america spoke, spoke clearly in favor of a senator o'donnell. in a poll we conducted on our website i now have a huge lead. a huge lead over anyone else to be appointed senator from
massachusetts. 40% want barney frank. only 4% want oscar winner and current oscar contender ben affleck to take time off from living the dream to cast some votes in the senate for a couple of months. and as i stared at the polling today, 51% supported me. as i stared at those results, refreshing the refresh button, as the hundreds of votes were cast i reached for the phone to call governor patrick. and then i realized i don't have his phone number. and then i realized what a stunning show of weakness the poll was for me that i could barely get a majority. just like a 51% majority of my own website. my own visitors to my own website to support my possible campaign to beg the greatest governor of all time to appoint me to the senate.
and then i realized that i would have to establish a residence in massachusetts, which i would have to do mitt romney-style and use the base from my brother keefer's house. and he is a freaking republican, which would make things like -- uncomfortable at the breakfast table. and then i stopped thinking about who i might want to have in that office. i stopped thinking about should it be me? i started thinking about who do i know that has the governor's cell phone number who would be stupid enough to give it to me? and i realized it was time for me to think much more seriously about the needs of the commonwealth of massachusetts in the united states senate. and so i decided not to call the greatest governor of all time today. but i am now ready to tell him right here on this program who he should appoint as john kerry's successor in the united states senate. and i will do this in our next segment. oh, and have i mentioned that my next guest is barney frank?
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we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. barney frank is my next guest, and i'm going to tell barney frank and the governor of massachusetts who that governor should appoint to succeed john kerry in the united states senate. that is next. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
he is a graduate of bayonne high school, in new jersey, where he was born, graduated from harvard in 1962, and continued studies and was a teaching fellow. in 1964, he participated in "freedom summer," as did many other jews his age, including michael goodman, who was killed, they, along with james cheney, along with barney frank were helping african-americans register to vote. barney frank arrived before three of his co-workers and stayed after they were murdered. the world knew it took courage to go to mississippi as a freedom rider. and after those murders, the world knew how much courage it took. barney frank had that courage. i first heard him speak as a guest lecturer at harvard.
barney frank was then a top aide to boston mayor, kevin white. barney frank was by far the fastest talking teacher i heard. he went on to get elected to the massachusetts legislature. he picked up a law degree from harvard while he was a state legislator. and then in 1980, when ronald reagan won office, barney frank was first elected to congress, serving 32 years in the house of representatives. and every day of those 32 years he was the smartest guy in the building. he was not always the most effective. you need three things to be an effective, accomplished member of the house. two of them simply take time. experience and senority. the other requires a certain amount of luck, your party must
be in the majority. you saw what barney frank could do with experience, seniority and his party being in the majority when he was chairman of the house financial services committee. >> why do you need bonuses? why can't we just give yourself a good salary, you're in charge of that. and do the good job. it troubles people, anyone wants the answer, please go ahead. >> i'll try, mr. chairman. it is a good question. and it is complicated. >> and, when he wrestled the dodd-frank banking bill through the house of representatives you also saw him get through something that many people thought was impossible. last week after barney frank said he would like to be the temporary appointed senator from massachusetts when john kerry becomes secretary of state, a former chief of staff to governor duval patrick, said i respect mr. frank and what he accomplished, but there are better answers.
we asked the former chief of staff who he thought the better options are. he gave us the names of three women, a former president of mit who is currently on the board of general electric and qualcomm, a retired massachusetts supreme court justice and a bank of america executive. he also gave us the name of a man who was the head of the massachusetts taxpayer's foundation, in other words, no one with any idea how the united states congress and specifically the united states senate actually works. the governor's former chief of staff who clearly doesn't know how congress or the senate really works, then told the boston globe "the theory that we have to send experienced people to washington to break the grid lock, the experienced people are the ones creating the grid lock." now i know that the greatest
governor of all time does not believe that. but he did once employ the abject buffoon who in that statement just accused john kerry and ted kennedy and barney frank, who each served massachusetts for decades. he has accused them of creating the grid lock. of course, the only republicans that that guy has ever met are massachusetts republicans so he has no idea what it is like to serve in a senate with mitch mcconnell and rand paul and the house of representatives with michelle bachmann, and allen west. for a senator who will serve for over 100 days for critical budget negotiations for the health care of massachusetts, massachusetts will not be well-served by a retired judge or a bank executive or a former university president who has to leave her corporate boards and engage in a speed study of subjects she knows now nothing about. the honorable barney frank is
ready to serve. he has been trained to serve. he knows the subjects better than most senators will ever, ever know the subjects. and massachusetts will be lucky if he does serve as their next appointed senator, which he will if the greatest governor of all time does the right thing. joining me now, former democratic congressman, the honorable barney frank of massachusetts, thank you for joining us, congressman. >> thank you for the very generous words, lawrence. >> i have made the case that there is nothing more important, i think especially in a temporary appointment like this at a critical time with the budget negotiations, with the sequester coming, nothing more important than experience. it would be stunning to me if the governor were to send some -- at this point political tourist of some kind down there for a temporary run. >> well, i agree, i wouldn't say tourist.
at least one of those people, whom i know very well, former chief justice marshal, frankly i had been thinking of her in the interim. and my view, up until about two weeks ago, ten days ago was the kind of person that ought to get the appointment. because as you know from your experience, the first three, four, five months of a new congress the senate doesn't do a great deal. and i had no interest after 32 years of fairly intensive work and kind of taking something ceremonial. and i was sitting in the democratic caucus over that new year's weekend, and i heard the bill outlined that i voted for that was necessary to get things forward. and did raise taxes to some extent on wealthy people. i heard what decisions are now going to have to be made in february, march and april. the fate of social security and of medicare. the republican effort to use the debt limit, an outrageous arbitrary effort by them to hold hostage older people and lower income people.
the sequester that is going to be a republican effort to take the military and hold it harmless so that we can continue to have unnecessary troops in western europe and more nuclear weapons than we need, and instead make greater domestic issues. the experience is too important, in two kinds, one is how the senate works. i was a member of the house. i spent a lot of time working with senators, including as you mentioned the national reform bills. i worked closely in the conference with some republicans. and i also have frankly been working on these issues. so there are other people who are quite good at them. at least i said one of them in the list, i had not heard it before, margaret marshal, the former chief justice, an extraordinarily able woman. and i had thought this would be a great thing to do. i just feel a little immodestly, perhaps now, given the fact this is not going to be a normal senate this next three months
will be about as important set of three months we have had, maybe since the new deal, because we have compressed these things in here. that is why i volunteered. and people said you were not supposed to volunteer. and frankly that is kind of junior high school stuff. the didn't between me and people who want to be the interim senator, and i said publicly, the rest are being coy. >> and it is a public position, presenting one's self publicly, is a crucial argument. the committee has started an appoint barney frank website, they were early backers of elizabeth warren's candidate push. what i would like to see is that you go into john kerry's committee assignments so that massachusetts has a member of the senate finance committee, which is where medicaid, medicare, social security all that jurisdiction is. and you know there is going to be tremendous pressure on those programs in the first two months, uniquely because of this
sequester situation. i mean, you and i are both staring at this first two months, three months of the senate session saying this truly is extraordinary. that all of their work is front-loaded like this. >> no question, by the way, i'm very proud to say elizabeth warren on saturday at her swearing in said very good things about me. and we worked very well together. i also want to endorse your view that ed markey will be the from the accident senator. frankly we worked together before that in the legislature. and i would like to think of this as some kind of a relay team. there is the interim. and i would have one difference with you, and i understand the motivations. but i think the two-step process makes sense. that is, i think it is better to have an election than an appointment to the senate. tip o'neill says it is one body that you can't get to unless you have an election.
so i think the two-step process works. the rule that you can't be appointed, it can't be made legal, setting the senate qualifications and not allowing for any modification of them. but given that as i said on december 28th, i didn't really want that job. when people asked me do you want the senate appointment, i said i just retired. it is kind of like being told a week before graduation you have to go to summer school. but i care deeply about social security and medicare. they are the two most successful anti-poverty legislations in america. and to deny the cost of living increase of elderly people living on $1500, to protect the bloated budget, and it is bloated not because of the military but because we have put them in situations where they should not be. and instead, cut out education or housing. those things trouble me deeply. and literally as i sat there in the caucus and learned what the decisions will be. as you said, extraordinarily
important decisions crammed into a three-month period. delay wouldn't be an option because you have these new deadlines. and i really felt i wanted to insist to be there, because i deeply care. >> i would hate to send somebody in the job who has not been in to discuss of chained cpi, not at a time like this. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. >> we'll be back with more right after this. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from
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secondly, i would say that jack lew, who is the president's chief of staff, has been and continues to be an extremely valuable adviser to the president. >> that was press secretary day carney, punking the white house press corp, and not announcing that the president plans to announce jack lew to replace tim geithner. the president is expected to do that tomorrow. and hilda solis announced she will resign, while attorney general eric holder announced he will stay on for a second term. jay carney was asked this question about jack lew. >> working on a signature. >> the treasury secretary's signature, you see, appears on all reserve notes, dollar bills during his tenure. here is jack lew's signature, it really is.
and here is what jack lew's signature would look like on a dollar bill. not everybody can have the style of john hancock. it was once said that the president had the handwriting that neared that of an illiterate. and of course, there is this, that signature? it may be more legible than jack lew, tim geithner's signature became the very neat, very legible cursive in the right-hand corner. tim geithner said he was forced to change his signature before it was fit to print. richard wolfe, when i was chief of staff at the senate finance
committee, we of course had to confirm treasury secretary. and i had when i was all done -- this thing was run through the committee. and the question is when exactly is it going to be voted on, on the floor? because it was the floor vote, absolutely guaranteed. the matter of a crowded calendar. it is the floor vote that really does make you treasury secretary. and the guy was in there, doing the job. i kept getting the calls, when is it going to happen. i finally said, it is going to happen, don't worry. he said he wants to sign the money. it is a big deal, signing that money is a big deal. >> for every school child -- >> and -- it is going to come any day now. and you're appointed -- >> because i'm not going to go for senate. >> really? did you break that news? >> yeah, i just made that announcement. >> so you know, washington still in this day and age, 2013, still has the fetish of the signature. and it is not just the bank notes. i saw president obama signing the health care law. 23 pens, now, there are not 23 pens, every curve is a new pen to hand to someone.
>> congressman, senator. >> yes, there is this fetish, news about whether he auto-penned the tax cuts, tax hikes in the last round, whenever you want to call it. i think we're stuck in that retro age, it is embarrassing, the signature thing, but beyond the weirdness of washington, and collection of 8 and 10-year-olds, does it matter? >> no, my signature was beautiful. are you kidding me? the nuns had me doing this beautiful thing that i can no longer do. i completely lost connectioning to it. but there is trouble, talk of him in the -- >> his signature is the most interesting thing, maybe the most controversial. >> he is super competent. >> incredibly competent.